Monday, 27 September 2010

Leong's Legend Continues

Something for many years has kept me away from China Town. Only recently with the discovery of the C & R Café (mainly because my favourite Malay restaurant closed), and Rasa Sayang, and very recently The Baozi Inn, have I ventured anywhere near to China Town.
The first two do Malay or Straits Food. So not very Chinese there. The latter comes from a well groomed stable of restaurants. But that was as close to China Town as ever I got. The hoard of restaurants down Gerrard Street were off my list for many a year.
I have too many memories of eating bad food masquerading as Chinese cuisine. Those same old dishes that you always end up ordering cos that was all there was on the menus. Sweet and sour something fried, over steamed veggies with a hoisin sauce dolloped over it.
But something has been changing, not only in me, but in China Town also. The standard of food has shot up. Plus the menus have been a changing. Now you see more proper Chinese food on them there menus. More hot pots, more braised trotters, more food that I have eaten in China. Maybe this is because of Bar Shu, which has upped the game immensely.
Another reason has been because of the fantastic Fuchsia Dunlop who has made Sichuan cuisine more accessible to the masses. I am a big fan of hers and have tried (some times succeeded, sometimes not) to recreate some classic Sichuan dishes.
Maybe I was willing to give China Town another chance. Maybe after spending 10 weeks of more or less eating nothing but Indian food literally three times a day, has made me want to eat different foods. Plus sitting opposite to a girl at work, who says nothing without mentioning how great China and Chinese food is, maybe has had something to do with it.
So these little things had been working at me for some time, even before a disappointing night at the recent Malaysian Night Market in Trafalgar Square. See I am still upset by that. Before I knew it we were queuing outside Leong’s Legends Continue on Lisle Street in China Town.
I actually tried to visit the original Leong’s Legend on Macclesfield Street a few weeks ago, but it was having some refurb done, so we ended up at Rasa Sayang next door, again!! But hey they do a quality Straits Chicken Curry that I love. I’m a creature of habits so what can I do.

So this blistering cold night we ended up standing outside Leong’s Legends continue freezing my arse off and dieing to get inside and warm up. My stomach was a groaning just watching the young girl steam their selection of dim sum in the section by the front of the restaurant. Damn she looked mighty warm in there. Thankfully the wait wasn’t that long, and we were ushered inside to the first floor. Why do all Chinese restaurants have such small cold stairways?
The place was jammin’. Maybe everyone else form the night market had ended up here also. We were taken in by the good vibe. The décor is a little tacky, but I kinda like the way they have recreated the place to look like you that we are in the 11th Century “Water Margin” era. As if any of us white folk know what that would be like.

The menu is slightly influenced by Bar Shu and its off shoots, but there are some classics on there as well. Plus some Taiwanese food. I unfortunately know nothing of the food from Taiwan. But thanks to Mr Noodles for enlightening me on his blog. I am trying to learn.
Even before we entered, I was already set on the pork belly. Like most restaurants if they can’t cook pork well, they ain’t shit.
Lina was in the mood for some classic northern Chinese comida. Plus after seeing the table next door munching on some aromatic duck, she was sold. Hey she’s from Latin America and they do do stereotyping pretty well down there.
We also ordered as an amuse bouche, to get us in the mood for the feast to come. The classic cold Sichuan starter of cold beef and tripe slices (fu qi fei pian) with a kick in the arse chilli sauce. Wow that sauce packed a punch. Brilliant. My mouth was a tingling all over. Excellent. Any place that serves offal is always a winner with me, and I will always order it. The beef was tender and was pulled apart easily with our chopsticks. The tripe was awesome. Damn I love offal.

We ordered a couple of beers. I tried to do it with the Chinese hand signals for the numbers, but ballsed that up. I think the waitress thought I was retarded. I put it down to my Learning of them in Beijing. As I do with the naff way I pronounce anything in Chinese. I say it’s my Beijing accent.

The beers arrived and I love the way in keeping in with the décor, they serve them in little clay bowls. Very funky.
The aromatic duck arrived, and it was shredded, as you would expect it to be. Not at the table, but this is England, and not Beijing. The cucumber batons were crunchy and uniform, as were the spring onions. The sauce was mighty fine. The duck had a nice crispy skin and had a very subtle in flavour. But don’t forget my mouth was still kinda numb from the Schihuan chilli sauce. So I am amazed I could taste anything. The only thing I can criticise, and maybe I shouldn’t. The pancakes seemed a little too papery for me. Possibly I have gotten used to roti’s, and that anything not the same is not right. I don’t know but they were a little odd. But once everything was inside and rolled, they were ok. It’s a me thing I guess.

My pork belly came in large chunks in a subtly flavoured red sauce. This was good. The pork fat was soft and tender, just how I like it. The meat I could have and did tear apart with my chopsticks. It wasn’t as strong flavoured, as I would have liked. But I am a snob so what can I do.

What we ordered was more than enough for us. But I was seeing people who had gone overboard on what they had ordered. The two people on the table next to us had ordered enough food for 4. “Eyes Bigger Than Stomachs” as my dad used to say to me.
They came out with some classic lines all night. My favourite was the man saying to the woman. “I know the other place was cheaper, but it was a buffet my dear.”
I nearly fell off my chair larfing.

All in all it was a pretty good night, and has awoken a sleeping dragon within me. China Town is back on my list of places to go. Although I am going to be very selective in where I eat there. 

Leong's Legends Continue on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A Malaysian Pasam Malam

 For me the best foodie places in the world especially for street food are Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Penang however ranks as the number one street food destination in the world. There is something about the hawker stands that just makes eating out so good. They take pride in their work. For them this is their little restaurant, it’s not about earning a quick buck or scamming their customers, like some street food stalls I have seen in other countries, including my own.
So I was dead excited to hear there was going to be a Malaysia Pasam Malam or night market in Trafalgar Square on Friday night. Memories came flooding back of all those hawker stalls in Penang selling top quality food to eager and happy people.
When Friday came, I even left the new girls birthday drinks at the pub early so I could go. Rude I know. But hey, I have priorities.

So when we arrived to Trafalgar Square, I was amazed, but not surprised by the quantity of people who had turned up before me. All I could see was a sea of people. Damn we were late. Very.
The stalls, which from what I could make out, were mainly from restaurants serving up their signature dishes. Not like a proper pasam malar, but it’s a start
The stalls were all ringed around the outside of the square, and the left hand side had at least 50 deep of people queuing. We were very late. Very.

We wandered over to the other side, where the queues were less, but only slightly. Thoughts were running through my mind of beef randang, roti canai and nasi lemak. These were wetting my appetite for a good night of feasting.
Unfortunately something went wrong. Of all the queues we joined by the time we got to the front we were confronted by “No Food”. They had run out. How cold this have happened. Damn how late were we. Oh so very late. 

It was a bit of a shambles really. I guess they had not thought that Londoners would flock there in droves on a Friday night for good Malaysian food.
For starters to do an event like this on only one day was a bit of a stupid idea. This should have been a weekend event showcasing the wonders of Malaysian food. Instead we were left with a mad scramble once everyone left work to get something to eat.
I was very disappointed but still kinda happy that it was a success in a way. If a little chaotic. So with everyone else we decided to goto China Town for some nosh.
As we were leaving we saw a girl popping some chicken drumsticks into warm oil to fry. I would have loved to have eaten that. I don’t want to think how they would have tasted.

A disappointing night, but it did have its upside. We discovered Leong’s Legends Continue…… More on that soon….. 

Monday, 20 September 2010

Garufa and Still Turning Down Baby Sitting Duties

The good thing about being away for 10 weeks, well apart form being away for 10 weeks, was getting to meet up with lots of people upon my return.
One of the first we met up with was Lina’s cousin, his soon-to-be-wife and their little or now not so little baby Emma. She had grown. Last time I saw her she was a tiny two month old insect. Now she is a large seven month old eating machine.
Her parents have taken on some new ideas to heart. They basically feed her what ever they are eating. And I mean anything.
I was joking when I suggested Garufa, saying that it was about time that she started on her first steak. Little did I realise that she was an old hand at this. I was disappointed that she hasn’t mastered the knife and fork yet, but she certainly showed her love of a lovely medium rare piece of steak.

After 10 weeks of eating really nothing but curries in one form or another. Ranging from those lovely south Indian fiery curries in Oman to the watery ones in Bhutan, I have been in craving everything but spiced food.
I’d been thinking a lot about Argentina as a friend was telling us spring had nearly arrived there and he was getting ready to wear his sandals everyday. To say Lina was slightly upset was an understatement. She is still clinging to summer like a crazed person.
But it got me thinking, and I got to craving milansesa. A dish that Gonzi had got me addicted to way back when in Buenos Aires. It was probably this that got me eating katsu curry in the Tokyo Diner the night before.
Obviously the katsu wasn’t enough for me and I wanted that milanesa in Garufa. I needed that milanesa.

We’d tried to eat at Garufa earlier this year, but it was a Friday or Saturday night and they were busy, and we hadn’t made a reservation. So we ate elsewhere. For some reason after that we never got round to going back, plus me being away on hotel inspections for 10 weeks. Well now we had an excuse.
The menu at Garufa is pretty standard Argentinean restaurant in London. They have their cuts of meats, bife ancho, bife de chorizo, lomo and cuadril. All these come with a side of salad or chips.
They also have their mixed parilla, which comes with an assortment of meats, sausages, black pudding and a portion of provolone cheese. A must for any parilla. Normally the provolone cheese is for the veggie that always turns up to an asado in someone’s house.
Ordering was pretty simple 3 bife de chorizo all medium rare, 2 side orders of chips, and my milanesa, which came with chips. Plus a pre order of provolone cheese, moron asado (grilled red peppers) and a couple of what turned out to be very dainty empanadas.
It’s took me a week or so to calm down over the empanadas. They were titchy, and I have to say not that good. The meat one lacked real flavour, plus it was fried. The locro (sweetcorn) one was just so so. The corn needed the creaminess of a Tucuman empanada. Plus as I said they were really small, and at £5 for two. Not very happy. I have to say Lina could and should make them for the restaurant. Hers are so much better. This was the low point of the meal.
The provolone cheese was really nice. It had been grilled over the coals and came in a dish to be shared, as all good food should be. Equally good were the peppers. Nicely charred and drowning in olive oil. Fantastic for the bread to soak it all up.
But the star of the show was the mains. My milanesa was a flattened rump that had been breaded and nicely fried was the size of my plate. The chips were knock down gorgeous. I wish some chippies would do chips this good. Lovely and crispy.
The steaks all 300 grams, were just awesome. Unfortunately I only got to eat a little, as my wife was enjoying hers too much to share. Even with me offering her vast quantities of Milanese. She wouldn’t budge. But I did get a small taste, and it was juicy and the taste of the charcoal came through in bounds.

Since I haven’t eaten a steak since god knows when, this was top of the shop by a long way. Prob the best since we left Argentina. Even better than the disappointing one we had in New York.  Actually that doesn’t count as we had it at Newark airport.
All in all it was a really good meal, and since we only live 5 minutes away up the hill I think Garufa is going to be on our list as our local. Especially as the have choripan for £5. Life is good huh?
The other star of the show was definitely Emma. Our 7 month old eating machine. The only thing she never ate was my milanesa, as she wasn’t willing to swap her steak with me. I’ve never witnessed a baby eat so much food, and none of it was puréed. I always pitied my nephews having to at that junk they were given as kids. These new fangled ideas on how to bring up babies seem to be pretty good.

We also seem to be pretty good at still managing to turn down baby sitting duties. I’m not so sure how many times we can claim that she is too small for us to look after. Emma will one day be forced upon us for the night. Until then we enjoying our baby free life. 

Garufa  on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Tokyo Diner made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Maybe it is a throw back from eating more or less nothing but Indian food for the last 10 weeks that I have been eating everything but…. Maybe I am fed up of those perfectly blended spices cooked in all manor of ways that have been tantalising my taste buds at every meal. Or maybe I really know deep down that the Indian food in London is very poor and no match for a simple restaurant in a small village in India.
I had been thinking what foods I had not eaten and somehow as always when I do this a katsu curry always turns up. I love this simple dish. I mean it is pure genius. Breaded meat, deep fried and served with rice and a curry sauce. But this curry sauce could never be mistaken for an Indian sauce. This is comforting and thick. Real school dinner type sauce.
I’d passed the Tokyo Diner on how many occasions and never actually thought about setting foot inside. But as the Prince Charles Cinema was showing the Godfather on a Friday night, I had to eat there. So cinema first, katsu curry after.
I love the Prince Charles Cinema. Those weird and wacky film events they do. I also love the fact that it allows major alcohol companies to sponsor film events there. Brilliant.

The Godfather is one of my favourite films of all time. It and the first sequel are always in my top 5. But let’s not speak about the 3rd instalment. Best not to really.
Russian Standard Vodka are doing a series of promotional events around the UK this year. That week was at the PCC. The films they are showing are real classics, well except for one crappy British fluffy comedy. Yes you know who you are.
As we entered the cinema for this FREE event. (I thought we had to pay for the tickets). We were given some vouchers for FREE vodka cocktails. It just keeps getting better.
Once upon a time, in a land far far away I had a liking for vodka. This came about by me living in Israel for a year and a half many moons ago. Cheap Russian vodka was cheaper than a cup of coffee. We drank a lot.
The vodka girls hired by the company also gave us little goodie bags. I was only interested in the small bottles of their vodka. Some nice double vodkas and coke were had later.
Watching the Godfather on a cinema screen was unreal. There were so many little things I’d never seen before. Amazing. The killing of Sonny was seen in a new way that I felt every bullet enter him. But being slightly drunk made it a different experience also. There was a really good atmosphere from my fellow oh so nearly drunk cinema goers.
When we left I never realised it was so late, and the Tokyo Diner was closed. Damn. This was not good. Tomorrow would be a different story. Tokyo Diner then cinema.

So the following evening before we watched The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, which in Spanish is translated as “The Men Who Do Not Love Women”. I mean who chooses these titles in other languages. Talk about lost in translation.
We headed into the Tokyo Diner. My need for a Katsu Curry was getting to me now. I was instantly taken by the place. It is simple and had a nice vibe. It is however more chilled than Misato which also does a nice katsu curry.
I like that they give you a good cup of green tea when you are seated, and it is refilled whenever you want.
After looking at the menu, a change of plan was called for. No chicken katsu curry, I opted instead for the pork Tonkatsu curry. Controversial I know. Lina had the chicken katsu bento box. It was catching. Now this is strangely enough exactly what we had in Misato, and they could not have been so different.

This has been the first katsu curry I have had that has been like what I ate in several train stations in Japan. Boy I had missed that taste. Slightly naff, but oh soooo good and very school dinnerish food.

The portions are large and filling. The rice is cooked excellently. The breaded pork cutlet was perfect. Crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. But the curry sauce was awesome. It took me back to those cheap eateries you find around railway stations in Japan. Pure heaven.
The Bento box was beautiful presented, and a perfect portion for a pre cinema dinner. The salmon was quite nice, but lacked any real salmon flavour. The brown sauce for the breaded chicken was really good. It was a perfect match for the chicken. There were some aubergines that had been cooked slowly and were delightful to eat.
I was contently stuffed by the time we had finished. I was happy now to relax in the cinema knowing I had found a real gem in China Town. A hard thing to do these days.

Also the films couldn’t have been so different either. I’m hoping to see more of these film seasons at the PCC, especially those ones sponsored by vodka companies. 

Tokyo Diner on Urbanspoon

Friday, 17 September 2010

Foto Friday # 17

This hearty meal of D.I.Y. hot-pot was set before us in a Sumo restaurant in Yudanaka, Japan.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Tube Strike Tuesday at The Banana Tree Canteen

Was I the only person in London gutted not to be able to go to work on that fateful Tuesday? The sense of disappointment I had upon waking up and seeing that the entire Piccadilly line was suspended. I really cannot say how I felt. STOP. My boss isn’t going to read this. So was I like everyone else who could not goto work that day. Very bloody happy. I am fully beginf tis strike, as long as it continues to give me days off.
Both of us were pretty happy to go back to sleep and snooze for another couple of hours. It makes all the difference to wake up around 11 o’clock mid week. A magical feeling.
Islington is always busy, except when there are no tubes. I never realised how many people come to Angel for work, mainly because I live the other end and only come down this way at certain times. Plus as I work in west London, I am rarely here during the week.
A day off, the sun was out, and I was hungry. I was in no particular mood for anything special, but felt like somewhere new. Somewhere we’d never eaten at before.
As we were wandering down an empty Upper Street nothing we saw grabbed us. Then as if a sign from up above, the Banana Tree Canteen came into mind. Well not really, I could just see it in the distance.
We had pondered about eating at The Banana Tree for quite a while now. Well it is on the route of the number 19, so I’ve passed it on countless occasions, but never ever got round to eating there. Maybe there was a reason for that. Even as we were crossing the road, I was thinking about going to Song Que for some Pho. Now that was a sign.

The Banana Tree reminds me a lot of a chain called Wok in Bogotá, Colombia. It promises so much with its large menu, but really delivers a watered down version of what it promises as good Asian food.
The menu is to large for a single kitchen to make, so a lot of stuff is either made off site either by themselves or by a catering company, and there are a lot of them around these days.
I ordered a Malaysian lamb curry, which was nicely cooked and quite tender, but pretty flavourless, and no heat at all, as you would expect from a Malay curry. The portion of rice was a good size and came with a small salad that was actually the nicest thing on my plate. Do love peanuts.

Lina’s Mee Goreng with a slab of char gilled pork was an interesting plate of food. The pork had been smothered in a honey dressing that I thought meant it had been charred to death, but it was quite moist. It was just plopped on the side of the plate and there was no room for anything else, so a simple salad was on top of the noodles. Not a good way.

Somehow I wish we had gone to Song Que. The Banana Tree serves the local office lunchtime crowd very well, and those folks that congregate around this end of Upper Street at night.
After this visit, I now know why we never went in there, damn those striking tube drivers. Well not really, I am looking forward to the next one. But that time I will goto Song Que instead.

Banana Tree Canteen on Urbanspoon

Friday, 10 September 2010

Foto Friday # 16

The aftermath of a particularly fine but very cheap meal in a small restaurant in Bumthang, Bhutan.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Mooli's Kathi Rolls, Calcutta Still Rules Supreme

I am so not a follower of fashion, otherwise like every other blogger in London and beyond I would have made it to Mooli’s a long time ago.
Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing that I am not a follower of trends. It does allow me to see how a place performs over an extended period of time, and then I can decide whether I should eat there or not. As we all know that any place in the beginning has teething problems and they take time to iron out, but on the other hand if a place is charging you money and it is not perfect then they sholdn’t be charging you anything. Alas they always do.

Anyhows, as I was recently in Calcutta, who are the kings of the kathi roll, to which mooli sell a form of, except in Calcutta they use fried paratha instead of roti or chapattis. I am kinda missing the food, or the spice of it, but unfortunately Indian food in England is not that good. But I did become slightly addicted to kathi rolls on my few days in Calcutta. I must have tried at least half a dozen street stalls in my quest to find the perfect one. To which I did. It was slightly greasy, but the filling was amazing. So spicy and tangy. 
With this in mind we were looking for something light to chow on. It could have been Yslla Yalla and its Lebanese filled wraps or maybe give Mooli’s a try. Why not indeed.
The shop is small and cosy in a trendy sort of way. One of the owners was playing speed chess on the street with passers by. If they won, they won a mooli roll. The guy who was playing when we were there was eating a baguette from a chain coffee store.

Mooli’s has 5 fillings in their rolls. The fillings compared to India are different. Well it is not so much that they are different, they are suited to the local clientele that is all. In India they normally have either a chicken or veg filling. Both kinds are spicy, as the local population like them that way. Mooli’s filling whilst very yummy, but were not that spicy, even though we were warned they were. Maybe it is eating raw chilli’s with my meals over the last 10 weeks that has numbed my taste buds. Could be.

We opted for the Punjabi goat with cumin potatoes and salsa, and the Goan pork with pomegranate salsa which came with a ton of lettuce filling. Both were very nice to eat, although the goat was a little bit more tastier than the pork. Maybe that is due to me only really eating mutton in India. (Mutton in India is goat, not old sheep)

The pork mooli had too much salad filling and not enough pork inside, but other than that they were ok for a lazy Soho light lunchtime snack.
I’m not sure if I would return there any time soon to munch on some more, but if I am in the area and hungry and have a fiver to spare. You never know.
Look, I got through that whole blog without bitching about the incredible mark up on a simple rolled chapatti. Phew.

Mooli's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 5 September 2010

FatBoy’s Diner

When we first moved to London way back in the early noughties, we literally every weekend, or on days off from work would visit different parts of our wonderful capital city. This habit over time diminished. I put it down to living so far west that Heathrow was closer to our house than central London was.
Since I was away in Asia on hotel visits (yawn yawn yawn), Lina has brought back this habit with a vengeance. Anyone, whilst I was away who went out with her was taken to another part of the city that they didn’t know, whether they wanted to or not.
Upon my return I was whisked off to a couple of places that were new to me.
One of these was close to the East India DLR station. Very apt I thought, as I was still recovering from a torrid time in Calcutta. A dodgy kathi roll laid waste to me. But more on that in a later blog, when I get round to finishing them off.
Trinity Buoy Wharf has set itself up as an artist community. It sits facing the controversial Dome, and within petrol bombing distance of Canary Wharf.

This once buoy making workshop was responsible for all buoys and light ships for a major part of the east coast of England. Unfortunately with most areas of this part of London those old business went by the wayside. The workshop closed in the late 80’s, and 10 years later was transformed into what we see today.
I am sure I would have never have ventured out this way if Lina was not on this “let’s see the whole of London” mood. It was a sunny day, so I was easily persuaded to come out this far east.
It’s an interesting place to visit, plus a few times a year they have a few open days with some entertainment on. There is one happening in a week or two. 
Dining options are limited to the Driftwood Café, a converted shipping container that sells coffees, cakes, bacon sarnies and other café type foods. It does however have nice views over the river.

The other option is a 1940’s American Diner, complete with formica tables, aluminium cladding and kitsch value that makes it so worthwhile. Over the last 70 years has made its way from New Jersey to London, and now resides in a windy part of a forgotten London.
Its claim to fame was that it was in that spectacular film “Sliding Doors”. Yes Gwyneth woz ere. Apparently for you film buffs and stalkers, she sat in the seat next to the jukebox.

The menu is as what you would expect to find in an all American Diner in a remote part of east London. Burger and hot dogs. And not that very good ones at that.
We ordered two of the same, as we were the only ones there, and we were hungry, best not to make things harder when you don’t have to. Learnt that on this trip, eating at small places and ordering lots of different things. Big mistakes.
We ordered one portion of chilli chips to help us along. We were expecting a small bowl of real chilli to go with our fries. Instead we got some Thai sweet chilli sauce, and chunky chips. Not what we were expecting.

The burger was a bit of a let down also. The patty had been over cooked, so all juiciness has been cooked away. The bacon had been over cooked, and had a major suntan. I still cannot figure out why there was a whole cherry tomato in my burger.
The strawberry milkshakes however were the best I’ve had outside of New York. They were even served in the metal cup they were made in. Quality. Not to thick, but not to thin either. Just perfect.

After paying I asked the guys working there if things were going well. The look said it all. I mean it’s not hard to cook a burger correctly, sadly this place does not. Shame as it is a real fun place to eat. I just wish they would cook those burgers better.

Fat Boy's Diner on Urbanspoon

Friday, 3 September 2010

Foto Friday # 15

The street food in Calcutta is some of the best in India. This stall sold the best kathi rolls that i ate in Calcutta, and I ate quite a few.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Glorious Fish n Chips

For some reason, I do not really want to eat Indian food for a while. Not that I haven’t enjoyed eating some really good simple food. I’ve kind of developed an addiction for dhal makhani, that slow cooked dhal finished off with a good dollop of butter or cream. Boy it is good.
It’s more for the fact that Indian food here in good ol’ Blighty is pretty poor compared to the motherland. The sauces are thicker, less flavoured and a lot sweeter also. You can actually get this type of food in India, but it is in tourist hotels, and when you eat it, you can taste the difference.
So after returning, I was a hankering for some good old British fare. After a Sunday lunch at the Albion, I was pondering what else I could eat. Pie n Mash, a good English breakfast. No, fish n chips were something I fancied more. No idea, why, but I wanted chips. After 10 weeks of none, I needed a slight chip fix. A burger back at Byron was an option, but it was the fish that won that mental battle.
The thing with London is that there are not too many good places that sell a good portion of this old time favourite.
There is the Sea Fish on the Highbury & Islington end of Upper Street, which do a pretty good portion. I’ve never eaten in the restaurant, as living just around the corner it was cheaper to get a take-away. Thankfully they re-enforced their bags. You would always see a portion of chips on the floor, as the bottom of those bags was pretty weak.
The only other shop I have eaten at and liked is The Rock & Sole Plaice. This venerable institution of quality fish and chips in the heart of Covent Garden. Apparently it has or a fish and chip shop has been on this site since 1831. Thankfully they have changed their oil since then.

These days the restaurant is a Mecca for all tourists from all nations to sample this quintessential English food. You can spot the restaurant as you walk down Endell Road, as the tourists always sit outside even when it is cold and windy. This occasion I just couldn’t sit outside. Hey I have been in hot, humid weather for the last 10 weeks. It’s cold in London at the moment.
Inside is of a typical fish n chip shop. White tiled walls, cheap tables and chairs. I have always liked the theatre posters on the walls, as it gives you something to look at whilst you wait an age for your meal, especially if you order anything but cod.

The menu is simple. Lot’s of different battered fish to nosh on, either in a regular size or the larger version. There is a good selection of pies and even some deep fried, battered veggie options.
It is not the cheapest option in the world, but as it is mainly a tourist joint in Covent Garden the prices are expected. Especially as they produce consistently the best portion of fish n chips in London that I have tasted.

The best and most expensive option is the Halibut. The white soft, moist flesh is encased in a batter that is delightfully fried to a crispy perfection. The plaice is good, but somehow the taste of the halibut is so much nicer.
The portions here are mighty big, even the regular size is big. The fish comes with a very large portion of chips that would take me nowadays two days to finish. I must ask for a doggie bag next time. The chips are handcut and are fried to a crispy outside and fluffy on the inside. My preferred way of cooking a chip. Lush.
On the table are the necessary condiments of tomato ketchup, tartare sauce, salt, pepper and malt vinegar. All the essentials you need for a quality meal of our nations favourite dish. Ok our second favourite dish. 

Rock & Sole Plaice on Urbanspoon